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Posted by Mary in PA on 8/30/2009

I don’t have any kids. My sister has two, and the second one brought into the world via natural childbirth. She’ll probably want to kick me for this – but honestly Sis... your labor was what? 16 hours? 20 maybe? Whereas I’ve spent day and night, night and day, every waking moment and most sleeping time too, sweating and working and gnashing my teeth over this floorplan. And finally, after six weeks, a floorplan is born.

What a relief!


The Chief Architect program I mentioned in the previous post has been invaluable in getting this done. We’ve wound up with a simple two-story rectangular house with a gable roof – can’t get more basic than that. :-) On the west gable end is a smaller single-story rectangle-gable-roofed space. The long axis of the house will be oriented toward solar south with plenty of windows on the south side. The single-story space (on the west) contains the mud rm/farm laundry/storage area, John’s office and a full bath. The (main) downstairs area has a small guest room (with private access to the full bath), and the kitchen/dining/living areas in an open plan. Upstairs is a small laundry, full bathroom, our bedroom and two generously-sized closets, my office area, and a spare bedroom. Currently the garage is detached and situated to the northwest of the house, making it a short trek to the mud-room door at the west end of the house. The overall style of the house is a simple 1900’s farm house. Clean lines, front porch, clapboard style siding, metal roof. Overall pretty straightforward when you think about. How did it ever take so long to get it laid out?


I think a lot of the time had to do with matching the flow of rooms in the house to our daily pattern of life, and to the views and sunlight we wanted in the space. Placing the windows for views/sunlight and still maintaining the exterior look of a traditional farmhouse was quite a challenge. Another time-consuming thing was trying to get the house done within the square-foot target of under 2,000 sq. ft. The first ‘final’ version was around 1,750 sq. ft (not including decks/porches). I put it out to a few family members for comments and then made some edits a few tweaks… and the new ‘final’ version is up to 2,300 sq. ft. Bummer. Despite the uptick in size, I’m pretty happy with the floorplan and elevations. I’ve put the updated version out again to a small circle of reviewers and we’ll see what happens next. I may decide to trim the size a bit.


I may have a floorplan, elevations and 3D views I like, but I’m still a long way off a set of construction drawings required for permitting and actual construction. I don’t plan to do those drawings as I don’t have a construction background. When I feel I’ve got a final-FINAL floorplan we’re happy with, then I plan to get professional help to make sure the plan is buildable, meets code and to have a set of useful construction drawings made. I’m still investigating how best to do that phase of the design.


Overall, it feels great to have the basic floorplan done though. Happy camper here!

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